A Tucson woman who has been to trial twice on a first-degree murder charge has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the death of her infant son in August 2009.
Mistrials were declared in both of Denise Pesqueira’s trials when jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the murder charge. Jurors in her second trial convicted her of reckless child abuse.
Pesqueira is facing probation or up to eight years in prison on the child abuse charge. She is facing probation or up to 3.75 years on the negligent homicide charge, said Assistant Pima County Public Defender Erin Carrillo.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Scott Rash will sentence Pesqueira, 23, April 22.
It remains unclear if Rash can run the two sentences consecutive to one another, Carrillo said.
Pesqueira was arrested in March 2010 after she told a friend she’d given birth in August 2009 and put the baby in the trash.
The child's remains were never found, but Deputy Pima County Attorney Anita Simons argued there was circumstantial evidence she killed him.
During her second trial, Pesqueira testified that after she gave birth in her bathroom she put the baby on her car's passenger seat with the intention of dropping him off at a hospital under the state’s Safe Baby law. After cleaning up the bathroom, she said she came out and found the baby dead.
Pesqueira admitted Tuesday she was negligent in leaving the baby in the car and she should have called 911 when she found the baby unresponsive.